Former Rhode Island State Senator Pell Dies at Age 90
Former Rhode Island State Senator Claiborne deBorda Pell has died at his home in NewPort today, just shortly after midnight; he was 90 years old.
He served as senator in Rhode Island from 1961 to 1997, and he suffered from Parkinson's disease. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, his son, daughter, five grandchildren and five great greatchildren.
Pell, perhaps best known nationally for the college grant program that bears his name, focused heavily on education, the arts and humanities, and foreign affairs during his 36 years in the Senate. During the latter part of his Senate career, he served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
As his family noted in the statement, the courtly Pell often expressed the definition of his job in seven words: "translate ideas into actions and help people."